Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Mathew "Cole" Norman, a former leading trainer in the Southwest, who has died at the age of 47.
Information on Norman's death was not immediately available.
Norman won a number of training titles at Southwest tracks, including Oaklawn, Lone Star Park, and Louisiana Downs. He grew up in Lafayette, La., working for his father, Gene Norman, at Evangeline Downs and eventually took charge of the stable when his father died in November 1994.
Norman saddled his final starter in 2007 to cap a record that includes 1,885 victories from 7,385 starters for a 26% strike rate. His runners earned more than $30.2 million. He sent out the winners of 126 stakes, including six graded stakes winners: Unrullah Bull, Beau's Town, Pie N Burger, Eagle Lake, Absent Friend, and Top Commander.
In Feb. 2007, Norman was involved in a driving-impaired automobile accident in Hot Springs, Ark., that resulted in the death of 86-year-old Virginia Heath. He was under the influence of painkillers when he caused a wreck. He was sentenced to six years in an Arkansas prison after being found guilty of negligent homicide and served about nine months before being paroled in January 2009.
Most recently Norman was breaking young horses at Hurricane Bluff training center near Benton, La.
Norman is survived by his daughter, Cheyenne, and son, Presley.
A visitation is scheduled for March 17 from 5-7 p.m. CDT at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City, La. Funeral services are private.